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Predictions About Technology and Future Engineers

By John Blyler, Content Officer

What follows is a portion of my interview with Dassault Systemes’s “Compass” magazine about the most critical technologies and issues faced by the technical community to manage increasing complexity within shrinking design cycles. My list includes hardware-software co-design; cyber-physical systems; wireless chips; low power; and motivating students to high-tech. – JB

Compass: The past decade has seen many milestones in hardware/software co-design. What do you think will stand out in the next decade?

JB: Thanks to Moore’s Law and the efficiencies of engineering chips and boards, these things have become commodities. Companies have been forced to differentiate themselves with the software. Also, when you design a chip, you have to think about designing the board at the same time, so you get into the co-hardware/hardware design with software tying everything together.

That trend toward tighter integration is only going to accelerate. The time to get your product to market is shrinking, so you need to have software designed while the hardware is being designed. In many instances, the software demands at the user level are dictating what the chip design will be. Before, it was the other way around.

Compass: What are today’s biggest challenges in systems modeling, integration, and designing for the user?

JB: When I tell my engineering friends the movement is toward designing for the end user’s experience, they scratch their heads. It’s easy to see how that applies to software, because with software it’s easy to change on the fly. But for hardware, that’s trickier. How is that going to be implemented? That’s something the engineering community and manufacturing community are still wrestling with.

You see it in cell phones. The end-user input must come early in the design cycle as it will affect both the software and electrical-mechanical subsystems. Further, everything has to be low-power and green. You have a mountain of considerations, aside from just getting the product to work.

Read the full interview at Compass magazine.

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